ARTICLE | Targets & Mechanisms

SAPping fibrosis

December 3, 2009 8:00 AM UTC

Researchers from Harvard Medical School and Promedior Inc. have identified a new profibrotic mechanism in the kidney as well as a way to block it with a protein called serum amyloid P.1 Promedior is already running a Phase I trial of a recombinant version of the protein to prevent ophthalmic scarring, while preclinical work is ongoing to better understand the role macrophages play in the mechanism and potentially find additional targets.

Serum amyloid P (SAP; APCS) is a naturally circulating protein produced in the liver. Although SAP's name is derived from its initial identification as a minor component of amyloid plaque, it is structurally unrelated to β-amyloid (Aβ), the molecule thought to play a role in Alzheimer's disease. Indeed, the precise role of SAP is not entirely clear...